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Which 3 Knives to Buy???

GoonSlapperGoonSlapper Posts: 106
edited 5:40AM in EggHead Forum
Hi guys,

I think I'm going to buy 2 or 3 knives either tonight or tomorrow at Sur la Table. I'm going to buy Shun Knives, unless another brand feels more comfortable to hold (I'd prefer to buy Japanese, since I'm half Japanese, and would prefer Japanese craftsmanship). I'm not going to buy a set of knives, so I need to know which 2 or 3 knives I should buy. A Chef's knife, Paring Knife, a Slicer, Santoku, etc?

I have several lower brand knives, and just want to upgrade the necessary knives. I think I'll definitely get a Chef's knife, but which size is the best, 6", 8", or 10"?

Thanks for any info.


  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    8 or 10 inch Chef,a paring knife and maybe a boning knife is all you REALLY NEED.All the others are just for mostly special purposes.Good Luck! :)
  • EggsakleyEggsakley Posts: 1,017
    Get ready for Bordello and Little Chef to comment on this topic. Bordello struggled with this issue for some time and I'm not sure if he ever did resolve it between the 8" and 10" Chef knife. Little Chef has wonderful insight and experience with this type of question and I would wait for here to recommend something, although others will have much experience in this area as well. If not answers befre this night is over, Ping Little Chef or Bordello and ask them. Best of luck and Merry Christmas. :)
  • How many do you usually cood for? If you're chopping a carrot or two, one onion at a time, and a few potatoes, an 8 inch Chef's is about the right length. If you've got a big family or entertain large groups for dinner, and you often chop 4 or 5 carrots at a time, then you need a 10 inch. The 8 inch is my goto knife. Have fun with it, and good luck. Great brand of knives...the Shuns
  • if the house is on fire and you can only carry one knife out, it's probably an 8" chef's knife. can do just about everything with that.

    after that, a 4" paring knife.

    with those two you can do 95% of everything you'd want.

    after that? kind of a bonus. slicer is good, maybe a fillet knife.
  • TNmikeTNmike Posts: 643
    stripsteak, good advice on the knives but trust me they will not even be on your mind if the house is on fire. I've been there. Mike
  • Be Carefull when you buy Henckels knives that sport the "International" name in the brand. If they say made in China we would avoid them. Stick with the Twin Cermax, Pro S, Twin Select, 4 Star II and Twin Cuisine lines which are all high quality knives made in Germany.
  • mattrappmattrapp Posts: 107
    I have over 25 different knives of every style and many brands(I'm a professional chef), and the 3 types that top my list are a chefs knife(8" or 10" whichever suites your needs best) a paring knife and a Santuko. While I use most all of mine over the course of a year, these 3 are the one I use daily. After you get these I would add the specialty knives, like a boning knife, slicer etc.
    Hey Ken,

    I have three Shun's that I have had for years. The 8" Chefs, 6" Utility w/Alton's Angle and the 4" Paring w/Alton's Angle.
    The angle is 10º and gives you room between the handle and the cutting board for your knuckles. I use a Chef's Choice EdgeSelect 120 sharpener, there are newer models by now. It does a fantastic job.

    Have a Happy New Year,


  • First of all, thank you everyone for your input. I decided to sleep on the decision, actually cook on my BGE, and buy the knives tomorrow.

    mattrapp, I think I'll go with the 3 you suggested, the Chefs, paring, and Santuko. But, I saw on the Williams-Sonoma's website that they had a Carving knife, and that caught my attention. That may be a future knife for me.

    For any Shun knife owners...what are your thoughts on the different models (i.e. classic, Kaji, Ken Onion, and Bob Kramer)? Are you happy with yours, or do you wish you went for a different model? I'm kind of thinking of mixing the Bob Kramer and Ken Onion models, because I feel like if I'm spending money on these knives, I might as well spend a little more on the better knives, so I won't have to buy them again.
  • Wusthof "Classic" are highly rated
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,699
    I like the handle on the Ken Onion. Had to take back the round handle as it (as I could not hold well)worked aroung in my hand if wet.
    I have stayed with the KO's for that reason.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • I use Wusthof Classic and LOVE them. Just added the tomato slicer to just about top off my block.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,875
    I really don't understand the fascination with paring knives. I have several Wusthofs, one of which is a paring knife. I NEVER use it. For anything. I do use the 8" Chefs all the time and think a 10" would probably be too large for me. I also have a 9" carver and 6" utility which I use quite a bit. Serrated bread knife too. Boning knife not so much, but I use even it far more than the parer.

    I have asked a number of people what one is good for. I would prefer a peeler for things like carrots and potatoes. Chefs for most everything else. I MUST be missing something, but for me, a paring knife makes a decent steak knife.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • I think a knife is a very personal choice. I love the Wustoff Classic line. I grew up and that is what my parents had in our home kitchen. While growing up in different kitchens I would try the various Japanese knives yet they always seem way to light to me. As I chop and work through large amounts of produce the lighter knives made me "forget "they were there. WHen I would cut bags and bags (50#) of onions and carrots for stock as an apprentice I used a 12 inch wustof to just get through more carrots etc at one time. This was an occasion where the knife cuts were not as important as when doing garnish for plating. A paring knife is the way I peel potatoes to this day, it is out of habit and I can never find my peeler. As i cooked over the years I switched to a chinese dexter russel cleaver. I can cut and dice etc, then the blade can act as a "shovel" to help move the product to a pan etc from the cutting board. So the cleaver became something I used to make me more efficient in my prep work. The day to day chef knive i did use before the cleaver was a 10" wustof classic wide handle. The handle came up higher then the traditional chef's knives. This prevented my knuckles from hitting the board on every cut of a knife. I would highly recommend that if you are going to spend a good amount of money on a knife that you go and handle it in person before you make this purchase. Hoss
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    WUNNERFUL ADVISE!!!My new go to is a clever! :)
  • was a little hyperbole....

    it (a house fire) hasn't happened to me, so apologies if it looked like i was taking it too lightly.
  • I use three mostly.

    An 8 inch chef's knife from Shun. It came from Williams Sonoma and has a pretty curved blade so you can rock while cutting Vegie's

    An 8 inch meat slicer with hollow ground cut outs. Messermeister Elite (like it). Thinner depth of blade than chef's with hollow ground doesn't drag on meat. Use to to butterfly tenderloions, carve all kinds of birds.

    A pocket folder of a french knife called Lagoule. Use it for cheese, fruit and just like to remember the vacation in France.

    For fantasy take a look at

    Best of luck
  • Well, I got 3 knives today. I bought a Shun Bob Kramer 10" Chef's knife, a Shun Bob Kramer Utility knife, and a Shun Ken Onion Paring Knife.

    Here's a photo of the 3 new additions:


    Thank you everyone who commented on this thread. I'll definitely look to add to my collection in a couple of years, when I save up more money :)

    Edit to add: I also bought a new cutting board that I saw at Sur la Table. It's a double sided cutting board with grooves on the side to catch all the juices. It's something that caught my attention. It's a bit pricey, but I liked the idea of the grooves. It allows me to not have to put my current cutting board in my large cookie sheet to catch all the juices.
  • mattrappmattrapp Posts: 107
    Good job Ken!
    I think you are going to love those Bob Kramer designs, they fit in your hand perfectly. Keep the band aids handy for a while!
  • Thanks matttrap.

    I actually already have a bandaid on my pinkie from my chef's knife :laugh: I brushed my pinkie against the blade, while taking the picture. Fortunatly, it was like a paper cut. I'll be extremely careful while handling them.
  • One of the old chefs where I used to work would always say "Every new knife bites you right when you first get it. To let you know to treat it well" Hoss
  • Haha. Yeah, I definitely got bit by my new knife.

    I was able to use my chef's knife twice today. Once to cook fried rice with left over filet mignon, and second to cut up the brisket I cooked up for my mom and sister.

    These knives are awesome, it feels like I'm cutting through butter.
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